Computing Reviews

People, ideas, milestones: a scientometric study of computational thinking
Saqr M., Ng K., Oyelere S., Tedre M.  ACM Transactions on Computing Education (TOCE) 3(21): 1-17, 2021. Type: Article
Date Reviewed: 12/30/21

The fascinating debate over the definition, scope, tools, and environments for advocating computational thinking (CT) promotes interdisciplinary educational collaborations and discoveries among scientists worldwide. But what should innovative advocates of CT know about its history, current requirements and practices, and impending trends? Saqr et al. chronicle the historical CT research and pedagogical activities in an effort to enhance future CT initiatives.

The authors cleverly introduce the alternative definitions and perspectives of practicing individuals and professional organizations in the literature on CT. Without a doubt, societies worldwide should be embracing relevant definitions and implementing strategies for accomplishing CT initiatives at appropriate levels of education.

But how should models for implementing effective CT programs be selected from the many available options? Saqr et al. applied software to retrieve documents and articles about CT from Elsevier’s Scopus database. The reliable bibliometric dataset was edited for duplicate information and keyword similarity. The authors used reputable statistical algorithms to cluster and illuminate the patterns of CT keywords used by authors and collaborators from different countries around the world.

Experimental results from the study reveal: (1) US researchers dominate and continue to set the pace for CT research activities; (2) international collaboration on CT initiatives is low, even though researchers from outside the US appear to be collaborating more on CT research; and (3) an affirmation that CT promotes “computing’s traditional tripartite disciplinary structure (design, modeling, and theory).” Are these results tenable? Regardless, I invite all computational science and statistics professionals to read this unusual metric-oriented study.

Reviewer:  Amos Olagunju Review #: CR147396

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